Welcome!

CRM Authors: Xenia von Wedel, Ian Khan, PR.com Newswire, Steve Mordue

Related Topics: PHP, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Recurring Revenue, CRM

PHP: Article

Why SOA Is a Good Fit for CRM Solutions

Provides scalable architecture and modern toolsets

Why SOA Is a Good Fit for CRM Solutions
CRM OM applications are heterogeneous and require the integration of data, process, and people. Numerous interactions across applications must be orchestrated while incorporating people, business rules, lookups, and transformations with stateful processes that last from milliseconds (such as an ATP check) to days (such as a shipment delivery). States for long-running processes are dehydrated / stored in the database while awaiting a response, and then restored and executed upon new activity.

BPEL meets these demanding needs by orchestrating services and including IT and human tasks into a unified enterprise process. BPEL also supports complex interactions, such as fire and forget, synchronous request-response, asynchronous request-response, and partial processing. Data integration across systems requires support for features such as cross-referencing and domain value maps. Cross-referencing refers to the ability to track an order number in CRM to the equivalent order number in ERP and another order number in fulfillment. Domain value maps refer to similar information across systems that have different syntaxes. For example, California and CA refer to the same information.

Another feature in most major BPEL and ESB products is support for both native Web services integration and adapter-based integration to CRM and ERP systems. For earlier releases of CRM that do not support native service interfaces, adapters wrap proprietary CRM interfaces into SOA. CRM processes (such as approve order and discount review and approve) also require human intervention, which can be handled using BPEL's human workflow list capability. These list extensions are now part of the BPEL4People specification and allow portability and interoperability across vendors. Not all scenarios end successfully, which is why a robust error-handling framework is required. BPEL in combination with ESB allows for the surfacing of underlying connectivity errors from ESB into BPEL. Key benefits include handling errors as a business process (with corporate error-handling policies), and the inclusion of human workflow so that errors appear as a task in an operator's work list. This kind of support is critical for BPEL and ESB to overcome the mismatch between existing back-end applications and serve as the glue for their processes.

In addition, CRM OM applications are a good match for SOA because they can change according to customer needs. Online customers need to be able to easily search for new products or services, compare features and prices, share feedback, and more important, form an opinion about a vendor based on ordering experience. CRM OM applications must provide flexibility in product bundling and pricing, handle complex product configuration online, and ensure that inventory check and shipment delivery dates are completed as needed.

SOA enables easier orchestration of services such as configurator, background inventory checks, shipping, and business rules. Orchestration using standards, such as BPEL, enables the creation of a consistent business process layer and allows for reuse in other business processes. Not only is it easier to create new business processes, it is easier to change them, because a service layer decouples them from back-end services. (We go into more detail on layered architecture later in this article.)

SOA patterns also help the composition on the UI layer. Standards, such as Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) and Java Specification Request (JSR) 168, allow the presentation data from diverse applications onto a single UI ("on-the-glass" integration). Furthermore, the composed components are decoupled using SOA abstraction techniques so that changes do not cascade into each other and back-end applications.

SOA also allows the creation of composite applications that present each user with a different UI, showcasing only the required capabilities and necessary tasks. This level of customization is necessary because CRM applications have multiple users and channels, including customers, employees, and partners (affiliates), who each require a distinctive UI. For example, a call center agent's view is geared toward higher productivity by omitting features such as help and customer reviews, and including features such as preferred customer discounts. A customer's view makes it easier to find products, guided ordering, and related products. The information in each UI comes from different data sources, including CRM Web services (product recommendations), content management systems (images), external Web services (shipment information), ERP services (available to promise), and business rules (preferred customer discounts).

Not only does SOA help create solutions that cater to multiple channels, it also reuses the same code base to serve different channels. For example, the order process is very similar for regular and preferred customers (changes for a discount code and an alternate catalog are variations on the same business process), resulting in easier adoption for newer channels.

Because they are heterogeneous, are able to quickly change based on customer need and competition, and have numerous delivery channels, CRM OM applications are well suited for adopting SOA.

More Stories By Nishit Rao

Nishit Rao is director of product management for Oracle Fusion Middleware. He is focusing on enhancing and evangelizing the middleware platform to meet the demanding needs of Oracle customers. He has more than 15 years experience in engineering and product management for messaging, Common Object Requesting Broker Architecture, J2EE, integration, and SOA products. He also has experience rolling out middleware solutions as an architect for a large global logistics company. He holds an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BS in electrical engineering.

More Stories By Murali Varmaraja

Murali Varmaraja is director of order management product strategy at Oracle. He has more than 15 years of experience in the information technology industry, including 8 years of enterprise product management. His experience spans a wide spectrum of technology, including Web, client/server, and multitier and distributed architectures involving Oracle and IBM DB2. He has experience with CRM business processes for the transportation, communications, media, energy, finance, high-tech, and manufacturing industries. He holds an MS degree in computer applications from Sadar Patel University in Gujarat, India, and is currently pursuing an MBA at the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.